Filing an Injury Claim in Atlanta, Georgia: How Long Do I Have?

injury claim

If you have suffered injuries in an Atlanta car accident, you have limited time to demand compensation. Making an official request for compensation is called filing a claim. If you haven’t filed an injury claim after the statutory period, you will forfeit your right to receive compensation. If you aren’t sure if you have exceeded this window or not, your car accident attorney in Atlanta can explain more.

If someone else is at fault for the accident, you should make your compensation request in time. The best time to do so is as soon as possible. Any claims you file after that will be invalid. This window is governed by the Statute of Limitations. If you haven’t filed a compensation claim yet, contact an attorney to help you.

When Is Too Late to File a Car Accident Claim?

Every state sets a period within which you can commence a car accident claim. In Georgia, the law requires persons who suffered injuries in car accidents to file a compensation claim within two years. The clock starts ticking from the date of the accident.

The 2-year statute of limitation for car accidents also applies to wrecks that lead to deaths. If your loved one died in a car accident in Atlanta, you shouldn’t hesitate to file your claim.

Special Cases

However, there are instances where the law allows a longer period to file a claim. For example, there are accidents where there were no injuries and only property damage. In such a scenario, you have four years to file a claim.

In addition, minors enjoy a longer extension under the Statute of Limitations. Georgia law doesn’t require persons under 18 to file accident claims. If you were a minor when you had an accident, don’t fret. You have two years after you turn 18 to commence an action.

For example, if you had an accident when you were 15, you don’t have to file an injury claim for the next three years. Afterward, you still have a two-year period within which you can make a compensation request. In total, you have about five years to file a claim.

Another exception to the two-year Statute of Limitations is an accident where a government vehicle was involved or at fault.

  • If the accident involved a city or county government vehicle, you have six months to file an injury claim.
  • If the accident involved a state government vehicle, you have one year to file a claim.
  • If the accident involved a federal government vehicle, you have two years to file a claim. There is a possibility that the federal government will deny your injury claim. In this case, you have an additional six months to take the case to court.

What Do I Need to File an Injury Claim?

When you are set to file a claim, there is information that your lawyer will require from you. Most of the time, a personal injury claim rests on your ability to supply as much information about the accident as possible. Here are the items that will aid your lawyer in getting your compensation.

  • Medical Report

Your lawyer requires a medical report to strengthen your request for compensation. The at-fault party’s insurance company can dispute your injury claims. Your medical report is proof that you sustained the injuries for which you claim settlement.

  • Driving History

Your injury lawyer should be aware of your driving history. Have you been involved in a car accident in the past? Have you violated traffic laws? These are the questions that your lawyer needs to have answers to before filing the injury claim. The at-fault party can take advantage of this information as grounds to oppose your request.

  • Accident Scene Photos, Plus Audio or Video Recording

Electronic evidence of the accident scene plays a major role in compensation recovery. You need it to corroborate your account of the events. Lawyers encourage accident victims to take photos, videos, or voice recordings of the accident scene. If you couldn’t capture the sights and sounds of the crash scene, don’t worry. Your lawyer will know how to proceed.

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  • Physical Evidence

These include the clothes you had on during the accident. If any of your accessories got destroyed in the accident, they also count as physical evidence.

  • Your Insurance Details

You require your insurance card and any document that shows the status of your insurance cover.

  • Proof of Medical Expenses

You will most likely have received and paid for medical treatment by the time you file an injury claim. Your lawyer will require copies of your medical bills and payment receipts.

There are other documents that your lawyer may need. These include:

  • A Police Report

After a 911 call, the police would arrive at the accident scene to assess the situation and make a report. Your lawyer will contact the police to obtain this report. It holds high credibility in the eyes of the law. Your lawyer will seek to match your accident account with what the police report says.

  • Witness Accounts

As part of a private investigation, your lawyer may need to obtain the testimony of both eyewitnesses and expert witnesses.

  • Recording of the 911 Call

The recording of the 911 call contains crucial clues to establishing the facts of a case.

Why You Should File a Claim Immediately

Every moment of hesitation can reduce your chances of recovering compensation in many ways. Firstly, details of the accident get blurry as time goes by. The more you hold off talking to a lawyer, the more information can slip off your memory.

Secondly, when you delay filing your injury claim, the Statute of Limitations may be very close to its expiration. This shortage of time puts your lawyer in a rush to prepare a claim and affects the thoroughness that should go into the process.

In addition, the longer you take, the less likely it is that you’ll locate the witnesses. Lastly, a delay in filing a claim emboldens the at-fault party’s insurance company to oppose your request.

File Your Injury Claim With The Weinstein Firm

At The Weinstein Firm, we aren’t strangers to handling delayed claims. We will let you know what the Statute of Limitations applies to your case. Our experience and expertise will help put the missing pieces together.

You will get a free consultation with an experienced Atlanta injury lawyer when you contact us. Afterward, we will begin the process of filing your injury claim. We are eager to hear your story, discuss your options, and recover your compensation.

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